Reviews that mention Ingrid Laubrock

January 26, 2018

Nate Wooley

Battle Pieces II
Relative Pitch Records RPR 1058

Nate Wooley

Knknighgh (Minimal Poetry for Aram Saroyan)

Clean Feed CF 434 CD

Moving on from apprenticeship in other people’s bands, American trumpeter Nate Wooley has over the past half-decade established his own musical persona constructing concept pieces whose genesis uses brief composed heads to expand players’ interpretations of the themes. The concept, with its echoes of Anthony Braxton mixing and shuffling his modular compositions, doesn’t sound that unique. But the execution can be intriguing as these two recent quartet sessions indicate. MORE

April 6, 2017

Artist Feature

Stephan Crump
By Ken Waxman

Without overemphasizing the experience, bassist Stephan Crump declares that September 11, 2001, when he witnessed the destruction of World Trade Center from his Brooklyn apartment, changed his life. “My music wasn’t the same after 9-11,” he recalls. “After it happened I spent a lot of time improvising on my electric piano. I needed new rules to express my thoughts.” The thoughts have since been expressed in mature compositions, culminating in last year’s highly-praised Rhombal quartet session, dedicated to his brother Patrick, who had recently died. MORE

December 26, 2016

Taylor Ho Bynum

Enter the Plustet
Firehouse 12 FH 12-04-01-025

Illegal Crowns

Illegal Crowns

RogueArt ROG-0066

Quietly and without excessive fanfare, Connecticut-based cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum has become one of this century’s most accomplished composers, improvisers, orchestrators and band leaders. Like a fighter who excels in whatever weight classes he trains for, Bynum has not only been involved in the macro sense, as one assistant conductor of some of Anthony Braxton’s major creations, but also in micro situations, where he manages to convey the breath of his ideas performing solo or in ensembles as small as duos, usually with drummer Tomas Fujiwara. MORE

July 1, 2016

Ingrid Laubrock

Ubatuba
Firehouse 12 Records FH12-04-01-022

Le Rex

Wild Man

Cuneiform Records RUNE 411

Distinctively re-jigging the rhythm section so that the tuba takes the places of a double bass gives many ensembles a certain post-modern fillip. At the same time by reverting to the early Jazz configuration of a brass bass, the band runs the risk of waddling too often into Second Line simplicity. Two sextets – one American and one Swiss – deal with this challenge inventively, but in different ways, confirming that the lowest-toned member of the brass family usually needs more than condensed space in which to express its full tonal range. MORE

June 6, 2016

Tom Rainey Trio

Hotel Grief
Intakt Records CD 256

By Ken Waxman

Comfortable in settings from big band to solo, guitarist Mary Halvorson joins with soprano and tenor saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock to roughen the edges of the five instant compositions on this CD. Cultivated and self-effacing, leader/drummer Tom Rainey is as far removed from a braggadocious percussion show off like Buddy Rich as Donald Trump is from Martin Luther King. Discretion doesn’t mean withdrawal however, and in context the drummer’s sophisticatedly positioned strokes contribute more to the architectures of the tracks than would any clamorous rhythm display. MORE

March 22, 2016

Guelph Jazz Festival

Guelph, Ontario
September 16-20, 2015

By Ken Waxman

Story telling of the verbal and instrumental variety was an important feature of this year’s Guelph Jazz Festival. Trying out new venues such as Heritage Hall (HH), Guelph’s first black church; and the soft-seated Guelph Little Theatre (GLT), the festival added a feeling of intimacy to its innovative programming.

Front and centre with tales, tall and otherwise were two Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (ACCM) members, multi-reedist Douglas Ewart and alto saxophonist Matana Roberts. Confirming the old adage that actions can speak louder than words were musicians as cerebrally intricate as Evan Parker’s soprano saxophone forays or as raucous as guitarist Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog trio. MORE

September 6, 2015

Ingrid Laubrock Anti House

Roulette of the Cradle
Intakt CD 252

Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up

After All Is Said

482 Music 482-1089

Jason Adasiewicz’s Sun Room

From The Region

Delmark DE 5017

Fred Frith/Evan Parker

Hello, I Must Be Going

Victo cd 128

Mary Halvorson Trio

Ghost Loop

ForTune 0010/010

Something In The Air: Many musical Interconnections at 2015’s Guelph Jazz Festival

By Ken Waxman

As the Guelph Jazz Festival (GJF) settles into maturity, dependable musical choices and the vagaries of touring means that a few of the performers at this year’s bash, September 16 to 20, are featured at more than one ensemble. The happy end result is that the audience gets to sample some musicians’ skills in more than one challenging setting. MORE

July 6, 2015

Artist Feature

Miya Masaoka
By Ken Waxman

As perhaps the pre-eminent innovator on the multi-string koto, Miya Masaoka is fully committed to the present and future via her compositions, performances and improvisations. But at the same time she stays in touch with her roots, often performing in traditional gagaku or court music ensembles, and took time during a recent Japanese trip to visit a shrine associated with members of the extended Masaoka family who have been priests and Shinto singers at that location since the 15th Century. Next year as well she’ll be the recipient of a Fulbright grant that will allow her to live in Japan for three months at a time, studying koto, gagaku and Noh theatre. “I hope to write a new work or series of works based on the research there,” she says. MORE

January 6, 2015

Luc Ex’ Assemblée

Luc Ex’ Assemblée
Red Note RH 19

By Ken Waxman

Although many of Dutch bassist Luc Ex’s affiliations have been with rock-jazz oriented groups Assemblée is an unabashed jazz project, for which he composed a set of distinctive originals. The rhythmic power he displayed in bands such The Ex and 4Walls is still present, but performances on this vibrant CD are given added heft by featuring American drummer Hamid Drake, the closest thing to a percussion insurance policy that exists. Fellow Netherlander Ab Baars and German Ingrid Laubrock complete the line-up on reeds. Even though each mostly plays tenor saxophone, there’s no emulation of the dueling tenor tradition embedded in hard bop or free jazz. MORE

July 11, 2014

Max Johnson

The Prisoner
NoBusiness Records NBCD 66

By Ken Waxman

Literally program music since this suite was inspired by the TV program The Prisoner starring Patrick McGoohan; this CD has a lot more going for it than an appeal to ‘60s cult TV fans. Although song titles refer to characters in the series about a former secret agent held prisoner in a mysterious village, the drama and emotion expressed by composer/bassist Max Johnson plus saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock, violist Mat Maneri and drummer Tomas Fujiwara relates to musical not visual challenges. Thus there’s no reason to know that McGoohan’s character was called No. 6, or his nemesis No. 2, to appreciate the interpretations. MORE

April 2, 2014

Tom Rainey

Obbligato
Intakt Records CD 227

Douglas/Doxas/Swallow/Doxas

Riverside

Greenleaf Music GLM 1036

Flex Bent Braam

Lucebert

BBBCD 16

The Whammies

Play the Music of Steve Lacy Vol. 2

Driff Records CD 1303

Braxtornette Project

Die Hochstapler

Umlaut Records ub004

Something In The Air: A New Take on Standards – Jazz and Otherwise

By Ken Waxman

Since jazz’s beginnings, the measure of a musician’s talent has not only been how well the person improvises, but also how he or she interprets standards. In the 21st century a standard song has evolved past its Tin Pan Alley origins, plus distinctive purely jazz compositions have entered the canon. But while more conservative players treat standards as immutable, the CDs here are noteworthy because their creators distinctively re-imagine standards. MORE

March 8, 2014

Artist Feature

Ingrid Laubrock
By Ken Waxman

One of the many non-American musicians who have set up shop in NYC, German-born saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock, 43, has quickly become a presence on the local scene. But the soprano and tenor saxophonist one who was already recognized for her playing and writing elsewhere – London’s highly competitive improv scene – before she crossed the ocean permanently in 2008.

Then again, the Hundewick-raised reedist has always thrived on new situations and challenges. And as someone who didn’t start playing the saxophone until her teens she declares that “I didn't really decide that I wanted to become a musician, it more or less happened … I sort of drifted into it.” MORE

December 13, 2013

Mary Halvorson Septet

Illusionary Sea
Firehouse 12 Records FH12-04-01-017

More enterprising than most of her earlier discs, New York guitarist Mary Halvorson created this series of compositions for an expanded ensemble, most of whose members she works with in other contexts. The results are audacious, proving that the guitarist, who first made her reputation with Anthony Braxton, is a sophisticated composer as well as soloist.

That said many of the tracks have a resemblance to Henry Threadgill’s jaunty writing for similar-sized ensembles. But, as would be expected, while Threadgill emphasizes low brass and rhythm, Halvorson’s weight is more on guitar and saxophones. Dividing the reed duties here are alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon and tenor saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock, while the rhythm section consists of bassist John Hébert and drummer Ches Smith. Brass power arrives from trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson and trombonist Jacob Garchik. Garchik’s and Laubrock’s contributions were added to the others who usually make up the guitarist’s working quintet, so her challenge was reconceptualising the five-part arrangements for seven. Listening to the sympathetic outcome though, you’d never know that the pieces hadn’t been created for that configuration from the get-go. MORE

August 28, 2013

Ingrid Laubrock’s Anti House

Strong Place
Intakt CD 208

Ches Smith and These Arches

Hammered

Clean Feed CF 270 CD

Guitarist Mary Halvorson may be the connection between these two New York-centred quintet sessions, yet their striking individuality results from who’s sitting behind the drum kit. On Hammered, Ches Smith, whose experience encompasses drumming for rock bands such as Secret Chiefs 3, brings a punkish energy to an affiliation with certified New York downtowners. Meanwhile, although Strong Place is under saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock’s leadership – she also composed all the tunes – much of the disc’s definition comes from the laid-back rhythm strategy of drummer Tom Rainey, who usually fronts a trio filled out by the German-born tenor and soprano saxophonist and Halvorson. Other players on Strong Place include pianist Kris Davis, who is Canadian, and bassist John Hébert who isn’t, despite the way he spells his last name. MORE

May 13, 2013

Kris Davis

Capricorn Climber
Clean Feed CF 266 CD

Creating a cohesive program that moves from experimentation to straight-ahead swing and lush inventions – often on the same track – pianist Kris Davis outlines a series of moods on this program of her own compositions. Calgary-born Davis has made a reputation for herself as an arranger as well as a soloist and each of her compositions displays her sidefolk – some of New York’s most accomplished players – to their collective best advantage.

Take for instance Pass the Magic Hat, which starts off as a swirling and spiraling exposition for her piano plus the bass of Trevor Dunn and the drums of Tom Rainey, but soon evolves to a contrapuntal duel between her metronomic comping and Ingrid Laubrock’s pulsating tenor saxophone. A spikier secondary theme developed by violist Mat Maneri arrives, eventually to be harmonized with piano and reed slurs. On the other hand, Bottom of the Well is a cohesive recital-styled track with low-pitched piano clunks underscoring the chromatic string sets. Before a legato finale, Dunn vibrates a solo in the cello-range while the violist harshly rubs his strings. With Davis’ narrative literally more low-key and impressionistic, Pi is Irrational balances Maneri’s tremolo stridency with Rainey’s rugged ruffs and taps, until Laubrock’s gentling arpeggios presage a brief, rhythmically sophisticated bass solo. MORE

March 15, 2013

Living By Lanterns

New Myth/Old Science
Cuneiform Records Rune 345

Mike Reed’s People Places & Things

Clean on the Corner

482 Music 482-1081

Drummer/bandleader Mike Reed has established himself as, among things, a deft interpreter of Chicago’s progressive music history. Nothing like a neo-con however, rather than imitation or emulation he and his People Places & Things create new variations of the city’s rich 1950s and 1960s Jazz heritage. On these exceptional sessions, he, and sidekicks, alto saxophonist Greg Ward – on both discs– and vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz – on New Myth/Old Science – have taken the next step: integrated their own compositions with earlier ones. MORE

November 21, 2012

Ingrid Laubrock/Javier Carmona/Olie Brice

Catatumbo
Babel BDV 12103

Tom Rainey Trio

Camino Cielo Echo

Intakt CD 198

Well-travelled, Münster-born saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock is now a Brooklyn resident, but spends time in London, where she was based for two decades, to maintain involvement in bands on both sides of the Atlantic. Recorded six months apart with closely allied personnel, these CDs demonstrate her trans-oceanic skills.

A live date from London’s Vortex club, Catatumbo matches Laubrock with two high-class improvisers with plenty of other axes in the fire. Madrid-born percussionist Javier Carmona spent seven years in London before settling in Barcelona. Besides membership in the London Improvisers Orchestra, he was in a duo with tenor saxophonist Mark Hanslip. UK-native, bassist Olie Brice’s affiliations include a duo with veteran flautist Neil Metcalfe and a band with Hanslip. Meanwhile in a Brooklyn studio, Camino Cielo Echo unites the saxophonist with her husband, drummer Tom Rainey, a Santa Barbara-native now one of New York’s busiest percussionists, who is also part of a Laubrock trio with British pianist Liam Noble. String strength comes from Boston-born guitarist Mary Halvorson, who works with everyone from drummer Weasel Walter to trumpeter Taylor Ho Bynum. MORE

November 21, 2012

Tom Rainey Trio

Camino Cielo Echo
Intakt CD 198

Ingrid Laubrock/Javier Carmona/Olie Brice

Catatumbo

Babel BDV 12103

Well-travelled, Münster-born saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock is now a Brooklyn resident, but spends time in London, where she was based for two decades, to maintain involvement in bands on both sides of the Atlantic. Recorded six months apart with closely allied personnel, these CDs demonstrate her trans-oceanic skills.

A live date from London’s Vortex club, Catatumbo matches Laubrock with two high-class improvisers with plenty of other axes in the fire. Madrid-born percussionist Javier Carmona spent seven years in London before settling in Barcelona. Besides membership in the London Improvisers Orchestra, he was in a duo with tenor saxophonist Mark Hanslip. UK-native, bassist Olie Brice’s affiliations include a duo with veteran flautist Neil Metcalfe and a band with Hanslip. Meanwhile in a Brooklyn studio, Camino Cielo Echo unites the saxophonist with her husband, drummer Tom Rainey, a Santa Barbara-native now one of New York’s busiest percussionists, who is also part of a Laubrock trio with British pianist Liam Noble. String strength comes from Boston-born guitarist Mary Halvorson, who works with everyone from drummer Weasel Walter to trumpeter Taylor Ho Bynum. MORE

October 17, 2012

Veryan Weston/Ingrid Laubrock/Hannah Marshall

Haste
Emanem 5025

Wild Chamber Trio

10,000 Leaves

NotTwo MW 880-2

Taking the chamber music instrumentation of piano, cello and woodwind as a base, but creating instant compositions with extended instrumental techniques in performance, these CDs literally delineate European Free Music. Nonetheless each is as different from the other as Austria is from England, proving that innovation arises in several forms. Despite its title, the three tracks on Haste, recorded at a festival in Barcelona, are dependent on understated patterning, unexpected vibrations and unfold at a mostly arthropodic pace – creations that are unfettered without being unruly. On the other hand, the aptly named Wild Chamber Trio invests 10,000 Leaves with many strident, staccato and strained sequences, creating an end product which studded with sharp angles and festering with sonic points. MORE

July 6, 2012

Interview:

Veryan Weston
By Ken Waxman

London-based pianist Veryan Weston is a well-travelled musician who regularly turns up in a variety of free music situations in the United Kingdom and aboard. Best-known for his long associations with iconoclastic saxophonist Lol Coxhill and distinctive vocalist Phil Minton, Weston has also spent time in various ensembles with, among others, drummer Eddie Prévost, saxophonist John Butcher and is sometimes a member of the London Improvisers Orchestra. Weston and British alto saxophonist Trevor Watts are playing at the Stone this month as part of a duo tour of the US. MORE

October 22, 2010

Sol6

Sol6
Red Note 15

Another one of those only-in-Europe ensembles which ingeniously intermingles strands of chamber music, pop and punk currents within an overlay of improvisation, Sol6 calls on talents from four countries and varied ages for this buoyant session.

Chief instigators of this CD, recorded live at Amsterdam’s Bimhuis, are Luc Ex from the Netherlands and British pianist/vocalist Veryan Weston. A founding member of punk group The Ex, since leaving that band, Ex has devoted his time to quirky improv groups such as 4Walls with Weston and British vocalist Phil Minton. Weston of course, is a veteran of the London improv scene, where he works in various configurations, including one with cellist Hannah Marshall, who is also in Sol6. Marshall, who usually plays in improv setting with people like drummer Steve Noble, was also on an album by pop band Polar Bear. So was violist Mandy Drummond, another Sol6er, who usually divides her time between accompanying pop bands and classical music. German-born saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock now lives in New York where she performs with people like drummer Tom Rainey; while Australian drummer Tony Buck, a long-time Berlin resident, is best-known for his membership in The Necks. MORE

October 12, 2010

Tom Rainey Trio

Pool School
Clean Feed CF 185 CD

Owen Howard

Drum Lore

BJU Records BJUR 017

Harris Eisenstadt

Woodblock Prints

No Business NBLP 18

Heinrich Köbberling

Sonnenschirm

Jazz Werkstatt JW 093

Extended Play: Drummers as leaders and composers

By Ken Waxman

Constantly the brunt of other musicians’ jokes for their supposed fixation on rhythm, over the years drummers have actually proven themselves as organized band leaders and sophisticated tunesmiths. Edmonton-born, Brooklyn-based percussionist Owen Howard strikes a blow for his stick-wielding brethren with Drum Lore BJU Records BJUR 017 as he leads a sextet through compositions by 11 different drummers. including himself. His notable CD, along with others by drummer/leaders, demonstrates these players’ overall improvisational and compositional smarts. MORE

June 8, 2009

Ingrid Laubrock with Liam Noble & Tom Rainey

Sleepthief
Intakt CD 146

Trio Werchowska/Pontévia/Boubaker

Décalage vers le rouge

Petit Label pl son 002

Two takes on the piano-drums-and saxophone trio end up with widely divergent emphasis on the colors accessible from the instruments’ timbres. Free form as possible, the unbridled Décalage vers le rouge extends an identity that was initially advanced by pianist Cecil Taylor’s pioneering units. More neutral and technique-oriented, Sleepthief’s orientation leans towards the sometime free, sometime formalist trio of pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach. Each strategy is equally valid. MORE

June 8, 2009

Trio Werchowska/Pontévia/Boubaker

Décalage vers le rouge
Petit Label pl son 002

Ingrid Laubrock with Liam Noble & Tom Rainey

Sleepthief

Intakt CD 146

Two takes on the piano-drums-and saxophone trio end up with widely divergent emphasis on the colors accessible from the instruments’ timbres. Free form as possible, the unbridled Décalage vers le rouge extends an identity that was initially advanced by pianist Cecil Taylor’s pioneering units. More neutral and technique-oriented, Sleepthief’s orientation leans towards the sometime free, sometime formalist trio of pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach. Each strategy is equally valid. MORE